Monday, July 7, 2014

2014 Summer Running Gear

Here in the Nation's capital, it is hot!  In the month of July, we typically will see 14 days that reach 90 degrees or higher, and with the high humidity, it feels much hotter.  To keep running, you need the right clothes and the right gear.  Here is what has been working for me this summer:

The North Face Better Than Naked Hat.  Before this summer, I never liked running with hats.  They made my head hot, and the headbands frequently gave me headaches.  It turns out, I was just wearing the wrong hat.  This ultralight hat from The North Face keeps the sun out of my eyes, the sweat off of my face, and my head stays cool.

The North Face Better Than Naked Shirt.  Is it insane to pay $50 for a running shirt?  Not if it feels like it's made out of butterflies' wings.  The Better Than Naked Shirt is insanely light, it wicks sweat away quickly, and it never gets wet and heavy.  This shirt is simply light years beyond any other I've tried.  Durability remains a question mark, but so far, so good.

Salomon Trail Shorts.   Sorry, North Face, but Salomon still makes the best runnning shorts around.  Soft, comfortable waist bands, pockets that hold everything I need, legs that don't ride up or chafe.  Perfect.

Drymax Running Socks.  I used to wear Drymax Lite trail socks, but the regular running socks have a more open weave that breathes better.  It turns out, nothing is better than the original.

Amphipod Handheld.  Amphipod claims that their ergonomic shape allows the hand to relax, thus eliminating hand cramping and tension.  Personally, I've never heard a single runner every complain of hand cramping.  Regardless, this handheld is far more comfortable to carry than the typical round bottle, and the curved shape makes it easier to fill at water fountains.  There are all sorts of versions with neoprene insulating sleeves, iphone pockets, and the like, but I prefer the most stripped down version for its lower weight and lower price point.

What's been keeping you cool?


  1. i'd like more information about how running with a hat keeps you cooler. i've been pondering trying it out, but i just can't get over the fact that, regardless of material, the hat would be likely to trap heat, especially when saturated.

    the better than naked shirt, does it get super-clingy when soaked with sweat? my least favorite thing about tech shirts is that they cling when wet, and if i can find a shirt that won't, or that does it less than the others, i'd even pay $50 (as insane as that is).

    for me, the columbia omni-freeze zero (sweat activated cooling) shirt is working ok. its not amazing, but its the best shirt i have right now... and it does definitely work at keeping me cooler..

    i also use the drymax hot-weather socks... and like them, but contrary to you, not as much as i like the trail-lite version.

  2. A good hat keeps your head a little bit cooler the same way that the right shirt does - by reducing your exposure to direct sunlight, particularly on your face. Being able to soak the hat in every fountain I pass certainly helps, too.

    The better than naked shirt, amazingly, does not get clingy at all. REI and have them on sale right now for ~$35.

    I've never tried the drymax hot-weather socks. I just use their standard running socks.

  3. I'm still relying on old race tech Ts and Champion shorts, although i've been wanting to upgrade for a while. Time to check out your links!

    The only thing that i've changed this summer is my Camelback Podium Chill water bottle, which keeps my water chilly throughout the entire run, allowing me to run during the heat of the day. At first, it's 21 oz deterred me as it was much heavier than my usual 16 oz, but it's really grown on me. Nothing feels as good as a splash of icy water on your head when you're overheating!

    As for hats, i've started wearing them to limit my exposure to the sun - both to stay cooler as well as prevent sunburn. I'm actually interested in trying out a visor because the hat i wear does get awfully hot after a while.